The village of North Attleborough Center is located in the town.
North Attleboro [formerly a part of Attleboro] is an industrial town on the Rhode Island border. In pre-Colonial times, it was the site of the Bay Path, a major Indian trail to Narragansett Bay, the Seekonk River and Boston. John Woodcock and family established a small settlement in North Attleboro in 1669, which subsisted on agriculture, fishing and hunting. By 1670, Woodcock had received a license to open a tavern. The settlement was attacked during King Philip's War, with two killed and one home burned, but the garrison house which Woodcock had built survived the attack. The Woodcock-Garrison house was used as sleeping quarters for George Washington on his army's march to Boston to rid the city of General Thomas Gage's troops. The Garrison house is still open for tours and is an especially popular destination for field trips by local school children.
By 1776, there were 2200 people living in North Attleboro. In about 1780, a French settler set up a forge for working brass and the industrial era arrived in North Attleboro. Englishmen brought with them British machinery from Birmingham in 1794 and designed American improvements in button making which they patented. During the 18th and early 19th centuries, small grist and sawmills were built along the Ten Mile River, and subsequently established nail factories were eventually eclipsed by cotton spinning mills. The development of cotton spinning was spurred by the embargo on imports resulting from the War of 1812. Textiles and jewelry manufacturing were the staple industries of the town by 1832 but buttons were king. By 1834, it was said that North Attleboro produced more buttons than anywhere else in the United States.
Until 1887, North Attleboro was part of Attleboro. The residents of the village of East Attleboro (now Attleboro center) chose to secede, and had the higher population and the votes to keep the name of Attleboro, the traditional spelling. When re-incorporating as the City of Attleboro, they chose to officially alter the name of their city. North Attleboro, the original settlement, kept the original official spelling, but lost the distinction of being Attleboro, and its founding date of 1694 was also appropriated by Attleboro.
In the twentieth century, North Attleboro was home at various times to the jewelry firms Jostens, the world's largest class ring manufacturer and the Balfour Company, prominent maker of championship rings including for the National Football League's Super Bowl champions and Major League Baseball's World Series' winners.
Through the 19th century there was tremendous growth and innovation in the jewelry industry and the number of firms in the town increased sharply. By 1855, there were 24 shops making almost $1 million in jewelry in both Attleboro and North Attleboro. The American Civil War spurred their growth with profitable U.S. Army orders for badges and medals. In 1887, North Attleboro was officially incorporated as a town. Today it is a thriving center of business and commerce with a small industrial park and many shops and stores along US Route 1 which travels through the center of town.
In 2006, North Attleboro was rated in the top ten for professional sports communities in the entire country and was also listed as one of the most affordable and safest places to raise a family.